rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Exclusive: The Manohar Joshi interview

Exclusive: The Manohar Joshi interview

Last updated on: October 17, 2013 12:36 IST

'Leading a party is not an easy task'

     Next

Next
Savera R Someshwar

'Young people may be good, but their knowledge is not as much you find in an old man. If you want to do successful things and take your party ahead, according to me, 25 per cent people should be old in leadership and remaining 75 per cent should be young, so that there will be lesser mistakes and the party may prosper.'

Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi speaks to Rediff.com's Savera R Someshwar in an exclusive interview.

Who are the promising young leaders in the Shiv Sena today? What future does the Sena have after Balasaheb Thackeray's death?

In the concluding part of the interview granted to Rediff.com's Savera R Someshwar, former Lok Sabha Speaker and senior Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi answers these and other questions.

Part I of the Exclusive Interview: 'Uddhav becomes aggressive when it is required'

Part 2: 'You can't take criticism to heart every time'

How has life changed for you and the Sena since Mr Thackeray passed away?

He treated the Shiv Sena as his family; it was not just a political party for him.

When someone needed his help, he gave it immediately.

To us, he was the head of the family.

And for you?

Whatever he could give to any member of the party, he gave to me alone.

I was the mayor of Mumbai. Thereafter, I was the Leader of the Opposition in the assembly. This means he saw to it that I was elected to the assembly. Three times I was member of the legislative council.

Thereafter, he made me chief minister. After my tenure was over, he sent me to Delhi. There also, I became the Union minister for industries in the Vajpayee Cabinet.

After that tenure was over, he immediately gave me an opportunity to become the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Whatever was possible, he did it for me. I was closer to him than other leaders of the party.

His death must have...

Yes, it is true we wanted him to have a longer life. But the life which he got was also not a small one because anybody going beyond 80 has a fine life according to me from the point of view of years.

He was all powerful in the sense that the powers of the party remained with him only.

I used to call him benevolent dictator. He looked after the Marathi people.

Please click NEXT to read more...


Image: Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray


     Next

'Both Uddhav and Raj Thackeray respect me'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Savera R Someshwar

Without Mr Thackeray, what lies ahead for the Sena?

He taught his son how to lead the party. Leading a party is not an easy task. Fortunately, Mr Uddhav Thackeray has been looking after the Shiv Sena for the last five years. He is as efficient as Mr Balasaheb was.

His style of working may be a little different, but he works hard.

What is the difference?

The style of working, the fashion of working, the oratory... His oratory is different, Balasaheb's oratory was different.

How does he deal with party leaders like you? How does he deal with the grassroots party worker?

I joined the Shiv Sena 45 years back, so I am a senior member of the party. I know both Uddhav Thackeray and Raj Thackeray for a period of 25 years. And they respect me.

There are differences between both of them, but I must admit that both respect me all the time. So my case is a little different. I don't have any problem.

How would you define Mr Bal Thackeray's contribution to India?

He was filled with national pride. He never liked Pakistan or its policies.

His image went out as anti-Muslim, but that was not true. He was against only those Muslims who were anti-nationalist. Otherwise, he had a number of Muslim friends.

In some places, for instance the Konkan region, the Muslims are entirely with the Shiv Sena; over there maybe 70, 75 per cent of the Muslims vote for the Shiv Sena.

Please click NEXT to read more...


Image: Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray, left, with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena founder Raj Thackeray, right
Photographs: Sahil Salvi

Prev     Next

'When a leader's decision goes wrong, the whole party suffers'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Savera R Someshwar

As someone who observed him from the beginning of his political career, what would you say were Mr Thackeray's strengths and weaknesses?

Taking fast decisions is sometimes a strength, sometimes a mistake.

Don't ask me certain instances; I am not supposed to tell that.

Young people were more happy because he took decisions fast, but they don't know that such things sometimes are harmful.

I will tell you one incident. He supported the Congress party immediately after the Emergency was declared.

The result was, in the municipal corporation of Mumbai, we could win only 21 seats. This was the only time such a thing happened. Otherwise, we could always win more than 50 seats; sometimes we were in a majority also.

His habit was to take fast decisions. He never asked anybody to come tomorrow.

Can you list some of his weaknesses?

Yes, he also had weaknesses and one of the weaknesses was he used to take decisions fast. But as I told you, taking decisions fast is also sometimes risky.

When the decision goes wrong, the whole party suffers. Therefore the top man of the party must always think 10 times before taking an important decision.

This is about decision-making...

The main work of the party leader is to take decisions. And another thing... he was always against the media. The first time I saw the media writing in his favour was after his death.

Otherwise, the media used to write against him. He too would not complete his speech without speaking against the media.

After the media started this Kohinoor issue, I sometimes think he is right... (laughs)

I tolerate because my nature is to tolerate. His nature was not like that.

Please click NEXT to read more...


Image: Balasaheb Thackeray, Uddhav Thackeray and Manohar Joshi
Photographs: Sahil Salvi

Prev     Next

'Balasaheb was straightforward, he was honest'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Savera R Someshwar

Will the emotional upheaval caused by Mr Thackeray's demise help you in the next election?

For winning the elections, a number of things are required. If they happen, you win.

If something is remaining, then you lose the elections. But you take a lesson from that.

Many things are required in an election. Money is also to be spent; this means you must have the money.

If you are not in power, it is very difficult to have money. But then, people are getting elected without spending money.

They have come to power without spending money or at least they pretend they have come without spending money.

It is true we were all sorry that in the last election we have not had success we wanted.

Next time, we will work hard. Also, we must remember that one thing is enough if we make a mistake. People always keep it in mind.

What was Mr Thackeray's mood like in recent years? What were his biggest worries as he got older?

I have never seen him worried about anything. Balasaheb was an altogether different personality.

He was straightforward, he was honest. He was very frank. For any situation, he used to find out a way as to what can be done. He kept on fighting. And that was his mood (smiles).

Please click NEXT to read more...


Image: Uddhav Thackeray, BJP leader Gopinath Munde, Balasaheb Thackeray and Manohar Joshi.
Photographs: Sahil Salvi

Prev     Next

'The only name I would take today is Aditya Thackeray'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Savera R Someshwar

Who are the promising young leaders in the Sena today?

My opinion is, frankly, that there should be young leaders and experienced leaders also, but I can't take the names and tell you.

In every party, ultimately, the leadership is given to an experienced older person. Young people may be good, but their knowledge is not as much you find in an old man.

If you want to do successful things and take your party ahead, according to me, 25 per cent people should be old in leadership and the remaining 75 per cent should be young, so that there will be lesser mistakes and the party may prosper (laughs).

Who are the younger leaders in the Sena, the Sainiks who are the pillars of the Sena?

If you ask me about the Shiv Sena, the Shiv Sena always had one leader (only). First leader was Balasaheb Thackeray, second leader is Uddhav Thackeray.

Let's say, every chief minister needs a good cabinet. In that sense, who are the young leaders that the Sena is looking forward to?

The only name I would take today is Aditya Thackeray (laughs).

Please click NEXT to read more...


Image: Aditya Thackeray accompanies his late grandfather on his final journey.
Photographs: Sahil Salvi

Prev     Next

'The secrets of the party are secrets; they are only for the party leaders'

Prev     
Prev

Savera R Someshwar

Do you see yourself writing a book that will reveal all the secrets you have held in your head for so many years?

I have released a book, but the secrets are not published.

And the secrets of the Sena?

No, I have not written that.

Will you do so at some point? Will we really know the workings behind the decisions, the turning points? So many things these things have happened in front of your eyes.

Yes.

Will we know about that?

I will not publish it, nor will I say it because when you become a leader in the party, you have to be responsible.

Therefore, the secrets of the party are secrets.

They are only for the party leaders.

If you join the Shiv Sena, there is a possibility that I will tell you all the secrets (smiles).


Image: Manohar Joshi, who follows cricket keenly, seen here with a fellow politician and cricket enthusiast, Sharad Pawar.
Photographs: Sahil Salvi
Tags: Sena

Prev